2017 Jul - Dec MX
Please scroll down to find all entries for July - December 2017
2017 SummerX 15-17yo 125cc
29 December 2017
Vinny would this time ride both days: Friday in the 15-17yo 125cc class and Saturday in the Junior 15-21yo 125cc/250ccf class.
We knew Vinny was unfit after a few very relaxing last months. But we did not realise how unfit he was! On this first day he struggled with bad arm-pump and cramp on the hot and dusty Awakaponga track. The track had some changes since we last came here in October and was now much more taxing on the rider!
We drove up the evening before and arrived at 10pm. We set up camp in the dark and went to sleep, only to be told by our neighbours in the morning that they had reserved where we were for friends. We managed to find another spot, but feel that you should not be able to reserve space for mates that are not there in time and cause issues for the ones who have taken time to get there early so they can get a decent spot.
Vinny spent practice learning the new bits of the track and focused on one good timed lap. Sadly this was only good enough for 23'rd in qualifiers from 33 riders.
Vinny would always struggle in the starts as he was starting from the left side (from riders view) that was further away from the holeshot corner. In Race 1 he had an OK start but soon lost places and was in 23'rd at end of Lap 1. He climbed one spot but then the arm-pump and cramps set in and he finished in 25'th. The three top guys held same places the whole race: Maximus 1'st, James 2'nd and Thomas 3'rd.
In Race 2 Vinny initially was inside top 20, but then he started dropping places and he finished in 28'th. He was very unhappy with him self as a result! James was leading the race from start but Maximus caught him and passed on Lap 4 only to drop his bike in the holeshot corner and leave James to take the win. Maximus placed 2'nd after a quick remount and Thomas was again 3'rd.
Before Race 3 Vinny had some alone-time to try and find something inside himself as he was very unhappy with his riding. At the start it looked like this failed badly and he found himself close to last. But he then started the climb and was 19'th at end of lap 1. He picked up two more placings before end of the race to finish in 17'th. Perhaps not an outstanding performance, but 11 placings higher than the race before, so we take that and build from there! At end of Lap 1 Thomas was leading, but was then passed by Maximus who took the win, and on Lap 2 by James who placed 2'nd leaving Thomas in 3'rd again.
Maximus won the class with James 2'nd and Thomas 3'rd. These three were in a class of their own the whole day! Vinny finished the day in 23'rd beating ten riders. He has now embarked on a quest to do all he can to become the best he can be in this last year of his Junior racing. We know he should have been inside the top-ten here and that is our minimum aim for 2018 SummerX!!!
2017 SummerX Youth (15-21yo) 125/250f
30 December 2017
Day 2 at the Awakaponga track. As a result of how yesterday went (see earlier report) Vinny was apprehensive and not even sure if he wanted to ride this day. His body was sore, he had struggled yesterday and today there would be even tougher competition as riders up to 21yo was in the mix, plus 250f bikes were also allowed!
After some contemplation we agreed to consider the day as a "work out day" where Vinny would do what he could and the placings were not important.
In practice/qualifying Vinny only managed 31'st of 37 riders. The track had been given a work-over and more sawdust added to the sawdust section making it quite deep. It was a day of hot sunshine, but the track looked better as a result of watering over the night.
We agreed that one of the goals today would be to do better than his qualifying placing in each race! Again, like yesterday, his starts would be hampered from having to start in the middle of the left side of the gate (from a riders view) from where it was further to the holeshot corner.
In Race 1 Vinny's start was far from perfect and he found him self around 30'th at the holeshot corner where one rider crashed. From there he then worked away and managed a 22'nd at end of the race. There was more carnage than yesterday with quite a few crashes and four DNF. Thomas (who placed 3'rd yesterday) won this race 20 seconds ahead of Ryan 2'nd and Reece 3'rd.
The start in Race 2 was very similar for Vinny. At end of Lap 1 he was in 30'th and then slowly climbed up to finish in 26'th. Thomas, who won Race 1 had a crash on Lap 1 and had to come from last to finish in 10'th, Ryan won the race after have been leading every lap with Daniel 2'nd and Nick 3'rd. This race had four DNF.
As Race 3 started Vinny was tired but went out to do the best he could. His start was not the best and he was in 26'th at end of Lap1. He kept a steady pace and finished in 23'rd after a race-long battle with two 250ccf Kawasakis where he managed to beat one of them. Three DNF in this race. Jake won the race with Thomas 2'nd and Daniel 3'rd.
This gave Vinny 22'nd overall. We have to be OK with that taking all in to consideration. In the 2018 SummerX we have a goal of finishing inside top ten! Vinny has already started the work to be in a much better shape this year! The class was won by Ryan with Thomas 2'nd and Daniel 3'rd. All three riders had two good races and one race where they had to fight to get their points after a crash. Well done!
2017 New Zealand Secondary School MX Champs, Tokoroa
We had raced the Tokoroa Winter Series (coming 4'th) to prepare for this! Vinny now knew the track well and we had as aim a top five finish this day. The 2016 KTM 125sx was running well, the back-up bike was as good as it would be. We were on time, we had forgotten nothing (trust me, that is not always the case...). It was going to be a good day of MX racing!
The day was windy. In fact bloody windy! And with the track having had no rain or watering before the racing, the sand from the track was blowing in to the pits like in a sand blaster!
In Vinnys 15-19yo 125cc Competitive class three from the pre-entries were missing (most noticeably Zac Jillings who was there in a moon-booth from crashing in the South Island leg of the NZ Supercross Champs two weeks earlier). But with five additional riders having signed up there was 16 that lined up. Considering this was THE NZ School MX race meeting, it did surprise us that the numbers were so low (other classes were even lower with the Intermediate classes only having a couple riders/class). Perhaps the timing of the event was one reason as it was in middle of school exams (this event had been postponed twice this year). We had also not seen much advertising for the event including that there had been nothing about it on the tracks home page.
Practice went well. Vinny came back to the pits informing that as there was no water in the track, the sand was loose and had started piling up in the corners making it tricky. But he felt comfortable regarding a top five! Sadly that all changed 15 seconds in to Race 1.
With the holeshot corner being a sharp 180 degree left turn Vinny decided to start on the outside and try to ride past the expected pile-up in Race 1. This almost worked. He was 5'th coming out of the corner. Sadly he got pushed wide, lost some speed and two places. Coming in to the second corner Vinny was on the inside pushing hard. Then, from his left side, Jacob cut the track and Vinnys line. Vinny hit the brakes to avoid colliding and crashed hard. He was bleeding from his face, he had an injured arm and got badly winded. When the leading riders came past again he was back up and getting ready to race. He got back riding after everyone had lapped him. With no chance to catch up Vinny took it easy just to finish the race and mop up any leftover points. He placed 14'th (two riders did not finish the race) and got 7 points. Jacob won the race with Cole 2'nd.
Before Race 2 we had plastered up Vinny as well as we could. He had taken painkillers to numb the pain, but he was suffering from an injured hand and did not feel comfortable. We agreed he would go out and do what he could. Any ideas of a top five placing was gone. Now it was only about getting back on the bike. Vinny had an OK start and was in 9'th at the corner where he crashed. He was not riding at full speed and lost a few places to finish in 12'th. Jacobs win number two and Cole was second again.
For Race 3 the painkillers had started to work and Vinny felt better. He managed 5'th at the holeshot corner. His racing was better and he held 6'th for a few laps but finished in 8'th. A trifecta for Jacob who was on form. Zac placed second this time.
There is nothing to be gained with the "If just..." or "What if...". On the day we felt a little like we had been robbed. But now a few days later we are back on track and have put it down as a learning experience.
Jacob took the NZ School title with Cole 2'nd and Luke 3'rd. Vinny finished in 12'th. We will be back in 2018!!
HB Champs Round 3 (final round)
29 October 2017
The final round of the 2017 HB MX Champs three round series was held on a private farm in Crownthorpe, a 30Km drive from Hastings.
We arrived in plenty of time and managed to get a good spot on the area that had been set aside for parking. The weather was good, a lengthy track had been laid out over the hilly fields and there was a good turnout of riders in all classes with 22 riders in Vinny's 12-16yo 125/250 All In class.
Vinny was sitting in 10'th after Round 2 and the best we could hope for was that he would climb a few spots. We had agreed that there was no pressure on him and he should go out to have fun and not worry about the results.
For Race 1 the grass track had started to cut up a little. But there was heaps of grip for the bikes. Vinny came out in 9'th but dropped down to 13'th by Lap 2. He then makes some good passes and finishes in 9'th. Jacob wins the race.
A very similar start for Vinny in Race 2. The track has dried up some and in places it got dusty. Vinny looses a place and picks one up to end the race in 10'th. Ben wins this race.
For Race 3 the rain had set in and the track started to get slippery. A few of the riders struggled and crashed here and there. Vinny managed to stay up and in-fact had his best race with an 8'th finish.
Vinny was 8'th on the day and finished 9'th in the Championship. Ben won this years HB Junior 125/250 Champs with Luke 2'nd and Max 3'rd.
MX Fest Taupo, 15-16yo 125cc
21 October 2017
Vinny had a good day at HPC Nailing the Peat 5 on the day before and was looking forward to the MX Fest. We had not raced this event for a few years as result of injuries, broken bikes and other commitments. But this being Vinnys last chance to race here as junior (he will turn 17 two weeks before the 2018 MX Fest) we wanted to be here.
We always knew that Vnny would not be able to challenge for podiums and even a top-ten would be a huge task. But we felt a top 15 could be a possibility if all went OK and we almost achieved it!
The Taupo track had been hugely upgraded now sporting a whole-track covering sprinkler setup and was in top shape! On a warm and sunny day all was ready for a good day of MX!
For Race 1 Vinny wanted to start from the left (from riders view). I was sceptical as if the start was not spot on he would be pushed to the back. And this was what happened. Vinny was 23'rd at the holeshot. The top riders soon pulled away and the field broke in to three groups: Three riders in the top, 10 in the middle and Vinny's group of 10 at the back. Lap by lap Vinny climbed up and finished the race in 16'th. Mason (from Australia) easily won the race with Joshua in 2'nd.
In Race 2 Vinny started in middle of the right side. He only just managed to miss a big buildup in the holeshot corner after one rider went down. Initially he was in 16'th but dropped down to 21'st at end of the first lap after a small mistake. He again started the climb-up and finished in 17'th. Mason took his second win with Thomas in 2'nd.
For the 3'rd race we agreed to try something different: Start from wide of right hand side and stay wide in the hole-shot corner so he would not get affected by all other riders. This worked and Vinny came out in 12'th from the corner. He then lost a couple places but lap after lap claimed them back and finished in 12'th for his best race of the day. Mason took his third win (he also won the Junior 14-16yo 250cc class, plus the Trent Haywood Memorial Race making it a clean slate) with Joshua placing 2'nd. Vinny placed 16'th overall, only missing our goal of 15'th with one spot!
We will be back in 2018 where Vinny has three classes to select from: National 125cc, MX2 or MX3. I am quietly hoping for National 125cc...
Hauraki Plains College Nailing The Peat 5, Competitive 125cc
20 October 2017
We have raced in the HPC school MX events before a few times. Held on fields in Patetonga and catering for riders of all abilities this is one of the initial school MX events.
The day was warm, the field was perfect for racing and Vinnys class had 23 riders behind the start gate. Time for some action!
In Race 1 Vinny managed a good start and was soon in 4'th, then passing Angus (Hamilton Boys) for 3'rd. Troy (Gisborne Boys) was in the lead with Zak (Hamilton Boys) in 2'nd. Arron (Trident High) soon started to challenge Vinny and they had a good tussle for lap after lap with Arron managing to pass Vinny only for Vinny to take 3'rd back in the last lap. Arron then tried to push Vinny but it backfired and he crashed. Vinny finished the race in 3'rd with Zak having passed Troy for 1'st.
Vinny had an even better start in Race 2 and passed all on the inside to take the lead that he held for 4 laps first from Troy, then from Sam (Tauranga Boys). But the pressure took it's toll and he crashed. Vinny got back up in 5'th but dropped one more spot. Then a second crash but he lost no more places. Zak, who had kept on passing riders after a poor start, had his second win, Sam placed 2'nd and Troy took 3'rd. Vinny coasted to finish 6'th with an injured shoulder and cramping hands.
Before Race 3 we did what we could to get Vinny ready for the race. He was not sure if he could race with the pain in his shoulder but promised to try. Once the race started all pain went away and after some initial tussles Vinny found himself in 3'rd. Zak was in the lead with Angus holding 2'nd. That was until Vinny wanted the spot more and started his chase after Zak. Sadly he did run out of laps and had to settle for 2'nd. Sam had climbed up to 3'rd.
The overall win went to Zak who had completed a trifecta of 1'st placings. Sam took 2'nd by finishing 5'th, 2'nd and 3'rd, Troy and Vinny were awarded 3'rd equal, Angus 4'th and Carter (St Johns College) 5'th.
The Schools results were: 1'st Te Kauwhata College, 2'nd equal Trident High and Hamilton Boys, 3'rd equal Mahurangi College and Tauranga Boys. With Vinny being the only rider from Havelock Nth HS he was never in the running as a minimum of three riders are needed for a team.
An awsum event organised by HPC and we will be back next year. Only a small "Need To Do Better" mark is given for some confusion at the prize giving. But we all got over that.
HB Champs Round 2, Junior 125/250 All In
15 October 2017
We travelled to Patoka, a small settlement at the foot of the Kaweka Range 50km North-West of Napier for Round 2 of the yearly HB Champs. The wind was strong, it was chilly and we also had a drop of rain.
One of the rounds in 2016 had been held at the same place and the track was spot on laid out the same as then. Last year Vinny was in the hunt for a podium after Round 2, but this year he has not found his mojo and lingers about 10'th.
His start was not too flash in Race 1 and Vinny found him self 8'th, a placing he also finished in. Jacob took the win.
Race 2 started in similar fashion but then Vinny dropped to 11'th. After some work he managed to pass a couple riders and finished in 9'th. Vinny was complaining about cramping fingers and arm pump. He felt confident he could have done better and passed more riders if his hands had allowed him. Jacob crashed while in the lead allowing Bryn to win the race.
Before Race 3 we did what we could to reduce his hand issues, but a re-start after a rider from another class fell ill and needed the attention of the medical staff did not help. Vinny had managed to come out in 5'th, but after the re-start he was back in 10'th. He fought hard but the cramp came back and he was not able to climb up from there. Jacob was back to win his 2'nd race of the day.
Vinny now is in 10'th in the series and best we can hope for is a couple of places higher finish after Round 3. In the meantime we are working on solving the cramp/arm pump issue!
Hawke's Bay Champs Round 1 Junior 125/250cc
1 October 2017
This is a 3 round Championship held between the two HB Clubs where each club runs one or two rounds. This year CHB MCC only had the first round to organise. It was held 10 minutes outside Waipukurau on a hilly natural terrain. We had been to this farm many years ago and were looking forward to the natural terrain with trees that gave shade and a strong base of a mix of natural and planted grass. Sadly that is all gone as the land has recently been converted to just another feeding area for cows. Progression??
When Vinny saw the dusty brown hillside his heart dropped. With his now 85Kg on the 125cc he knew he would struggle in the loose stuff and the long up-hills.
22 riders lined up for Race 1. Vinny had an OK start and was approx 6'th when he was hit from behind. Luckily he did not go down, thou he dropped to 18'th. At end of Lap 1 he had climbed to 12'th and he finished the race in 8'th Ben took the win.
This was a tough track where to pass the faster riders, so the start was important. For Race 2 we had agreed on a different starting spot and a different strategy (simple really... just keep it pinned!!). It worked and Vinny came out in 5'th and quickly passed for 4'th. Vinny then dropped one spot after a small mistake. But when Lewis, who was leading, crashed a few meters after the finish-line of Lap 1, Vinny was back in 4'th. Sadly that did not last as the loose stuff Vinny had been worried about took another victim when Vinny crashed. He came back up in 12'th just behind Lewis. No matter what Vinny did in the more than 1/2 a doz times he tries to pass Lewis, he could not make it stick and had to settle for 11'th . Sam won this one.
The Race 3 start was supposed to be similar to the R2 one. But nothing is given in MX and Vinny finds himself in 8th. He makes a small mistake in the first lap and is now in 12'th. In Lap 2 he makes a brave passing move at full noise, but his right foot hits the ground and he is in pain. Vinny slows down and is soon last. He then keeps on riding but struggles to use the foot to change gears and solves the situation by changing them by hand (clearly not something we recommend if you want to win...). Vinny came 17'th. Ben takes his 2'nd win of the day. This leaves Ben in 1'st in the series and Vinny in 11'th. Some serious riding needed in Round 2 and 3 if Vinny wants to finish inside top 5!!
Vinnys concerns re the loose stuff seemed to have been proven. (And there were many more who succumbed to the deep loose stuff just outside the single riding line). Or had he convinced himself that it was not gonna work? I will prescribe to the theory that he was riding hard and took a bunch of chances that did not work out in his favour this time. On another day it could have been soo different!
No injuries thankfully! The SIDI boots definitely saved his foot and as we soon need new boots we will most probably go for another pair of them... Anyone want to sponsor us a pair???
Taupo Winter Series Round 6 (final)
15-16yo 125cc 24 October 2017
We drove up on Saturday and stayed with Didrik (Vinny's older brother) only a few minutes away from the track! A luxury not to have to get up at 4.30am!!
The track had been shortened as there was big amounts of water in the lower parts of the track. But the rest of the track was in good condition and it became a day where everyone raced fast in the warm and dry conditions.
Vinny's class would start first in a split start with the 12-14yo 125cc class making it busy on the track with a total of 36 riders!
In Race 1 Vinny came well out of the gate (encouraging as he has lately been struggling here) but found himself 8'th at the holeshot. He then dropped down to 11'th before climbing up to 7'th and finishing in 8'th. Thomas won with James 2'nd.
A better start from Vinny in Race 2 and he was in 5'th at the holeshot. He dropped one spot before end of Lap 1 and held on to 6'th for six laps. He lost one more spot and finished in 7'th. James turn for a win with Thomas in 2'nd.
Another 5'th at the holeshot for Vinny and he held the position for 2 laps before he dropped to 6'th where he would finish. Thomas had his second win with Zac in 2'nd.
With missing 2 rounds we figured Vinny had no chance for a top 5 placing so we left before prize-giving. But we should have stayed as he placed 5'th in the series!!
A good day of racing and with some additional work we know we can get Vinny back to challenging for podiums!
Central HB Club Round 4
17 September 2017, Junior 125/250 All In
As all Central HB MCC events, this one was held on a farm. Same farm (and track) as last month when it was wet and tricky. This time it was dry, windy and dusty!
In Vinny's Junior 125/250 class 12 riders lined up. We had been racing 2 days ago and Vinny had picked up something that made him lethargic. As the CHB club only uses the final race of the day for points accumulation, we agreed that Vinny could take it easy the first two races.
In Race 1 Vinny was hanging back with school mate Sam and placed 10'th. Ben won the race.
In Race 2 Vinny added some speed and was in the hunt for the first lap before easing off. He placed 6'th. Ben again placed 1'st.
In Race 3 all riders knew that this one was the one that counted. The start was tight and Vinny came out in 3'rd but soon dropped to 6'th after he lost his gear leaver. He ended up racing the race in 3'rd gear. It was Ben's 3'rd win of the day!
Vinny is still leading the series, but the others are closing up!
Wairoa School MX, Competitive 125cc
15 September 2017
The sun was out, it was a warm day and there was MX to race! Brilliant combination! The Ardkeen track in Wairoa looked mint as we parked up on the Havelock North HS MX Teams assigned spot. We had hoped to be here with all four riders, but Joe had been struggling to shake off a flu so we arrived with the three: George, Sam and Vinny. We had hopes of placing inside the top five of the teams, but as the team points are made up from the teams top three riders final placing (team with lowest score wins) all three riders would need to bring their A game.
We have for some time struggled to get the 2016 bike running right, but it looked like we had that sorted, so it was all on!
10 riders lined up for the practice that went well for Vinny and he gave "thumbs up" to the minor changes on a track where he likes to race.
In Race 1 Vinny had a good start but by the first corner Thomas had taken the lead (Thomas was unstoppable all day on his home track, and had become even faster than before, now on his new Husky!). On the straight Troy drifted in to Vinny who took evasive action and rode off the track. At the whoops Vinny was in 5'th. He then dropped to 6'th before a small crash put Vinny in to 8'th on Lap 4. By the end he had climbed back to 6'th. Thomas won the race with Luke 2'nd and Troy 3'rd.
For Race 2 Vinny came out with more determination, as he knew that if his team was going to have a chance of a podium he would have to do better! In the start Troy drifted forward and when the bungy-cord went he got stuck in it! Thomas again took the lead with Vinny in 2'nd. He then lost two places and settled in to 4'th. For four laps he put pressure on Bryn and it worked! Trying to cover Vinny, Bryn made a mistake and Vinny finished the race in 3'rd. Thomas had his 2'nd win with Luke 2'nd.
By Race 3 the track had become quite dusty and we changed airfilter to allow the bike to breathe properly. Vinny again had a good start, but lost a few places at the sharp first corner and settled in to 5'th. On lap 2 he passed Troy for 4'th. On lap 6 he passed Arron for 3'rd and set his sights on Bryn. Vinny had a go at 2'nd but got it wrong, crashed and was back in 5'th. He then passed Troy again for 4'th. (This was all in one busy lap!). Vinny finished in 4'th. Thomas was 1'st, Bryn 2'nd and Arron 3'rd.
So Vinnys tally was 6'th, 3'rd and 4'th for a 5'th overall. In the Aspiring 125cc George won and Sam placed 3'rd. This gave the team 9 points and 3'rd after Napier Boys and Paeroa College!
Easily the best day of racing this year for us. No gremlins and Vinny was on form. If he had settled for 3'rd in the last race Vinny would have placed 3'rd overall. It would have been nice, but we are OK with a close 5'th (Vinny had same points as Aaron in 4'th but lost out on count-back, and only 2 points less than Bryn in 3'rd). And really, he was there to race and fight for placings, going for 2'nd in the last race could easily have worked even if not today. Thomas won the class with 150 points, Luke 2'nd with 131, Bryn 3'rd on 125, Arron 4'th with 123 and Vinny 5'th with 123.
A HUGE Thank You to the Wairoa MCC who put on a brilliant day of racing and thanks for the freebies! We will be back next year!!
Havelock Nth HS MX Team, 3'rd at Wairoa School MX. From left: Sam, Vinny and George. Winning team: Napier Boys, 2'nd Paeroa College.
South Waikato MCC Winter Series Round 5 (final) Junior 125/250 All In
3 September 2017
The 2016 KTM 125sx had some more fixing done to it. (Thanks Sandra for getting us the parts!!) We took our time to make sure all was OK. Vinny went out for a short ride to check that all was working well. He came back telling me that this was the case. We were ready!
Vinny had a cold that was getting worse, but we decided to go racing as this was the final round and he had a chance to place 3'rd if all went well.
No rain in Tokoroa, but it was cold and windy. Vinny was freezing and decided to ride with his jacket on. The bike behaved well in practice, but Vinny was not happy with where the clutch grabbed. (Brand new set of clutch plates and new oil in gearbox was the reason I considered, but did some minor adjustments and it got little better).
In Race 1 Vinny looked out of sorts in the start. He came 8'th out of 12 riders to the holeshot corner. A few corners later and he was in 6'th but quicly lost one place. In Lap 2 after the 100 footer his throttle jammed and he stopped just before the finish line. He tried to get going but could not get the throttle down, so killed the engine and took the bike to the pits. There we managed to loosen the throttle and he went back out five laps behind. Vinny still placed 7'th as some other riders had a bad day too! Jack won the race from Carter.
Race 2 was similar in start. Initially Vinny was in 7'th but then managed to climb to 5'th where he finished the race. He was still not happy with the bike, was complaining about a handful of small issues and was waiting for something else to go wrong... He wanted to use the 2012 for the last race. But as we had robbed some bits from it to try and sort the 2016 it was not gonna happen. Again Jack won the race from Carter.
Initially Vinny was 9'th in Race 3. He then climbed up to 7'th and managed to get 6'th at the end. Jack made it a trifecta on the day. Isaac came 2'nd in this race.
We were not happy with the day as the gremlins in the 2016 bike were still troubling us. Might be possessed actually... so we are considering an exorcism... ;) . Plus Vinny's worsening cold did not help. But perhaps we had done enough to secure 3'rd in the series... But no, not on this day. Vinny missed 3'rd with 2 points... (That throttle jamming in Race 1 made sure of that!)
Jack won the series with Kyan 2'nd and Carter 3'rd (Brody actually came 3'rd, but as he was not a club member his points did not count in the results). Vinny had to settle for 4'th.
So there will be some more work on sorting the bike!
The weekend 18 - 20 August was one that held three different race meetings for Vinny. We have here compiled them all in to one update. Enjoy!
Day 1. Friday 18 August.
Trident/BOP School MX 15-18yo 125cc.
18 August 2017
It was a 4am start from Hawke's Bay to make sure we arrived in time for sign up. Vinny knows the Awakaponga track well after racing here in this event before and in their year ending Summer Cross for the last seven years. On this warm and rain-free day Vinny would be the only HNHS MX Team member racing here. But we have become accustomed to operating as a one-rider-team.
We had spent time on the 2016 bike trying to solve the ongoing issue where there was no top-end power. At last we had solved it and we were looking forward to finding out what Vinny could do now when, at last, all was working well... little did we know!!
With 12 riders in the class we agreed that there was no need to try to get a fast time in practice as the gate for any of the 12 placings would be OK (Vinny came 8'th in practice), so Vinny spent time looking at the track and trying different things. Back in the pits he told me that the bike was running really well!
Vinny's 15-18yo 125cc class would have a split start with the 15-18 250cc class where the 250's would start first.
In Race 1 Vinny's start was not the best and he found him self in 10'th at the holeshot. From there he slowly moved forward and on 2'nd to last lap he was for a brief moment in 4'th. That was before the bike started slowing down. On the last lap he stopped the bike to check if something was stuck in the back wheel (see vid), but there was nothing so he carried on and finished in 7'th. 100 meters later the motor stopped. Once in the pits we found that we could not turn the motor. We spent some time diagnosing and taking the motor apart, but found that the crank had seized. Joel won the race by 15 seconds.
For Race 2 Vinny reverted to the spare bike. As we had spent all the time in-between races trying to solve the 2016 issues we had not had time to set the 2012 up for the track. As a result Vinny initially struggled and was at the rear end of the field. He slowly climbed forward and finished in 9'th. Joel again won the race, but the margin was now down to 8 seconds.
Before the 3'rd Race we did all we could to make the bike competitive. And it almost worked. Vinny's start was again not the best. But he managed to climb up to 7'th by the end. This gave him equal 7'th overall together with Troy and Oliver. Joel again won the race, this time by 22 seconds. This gave Joel the overall win with Zak 2'nd and Carlin 3'rd.
Our goal had been a top five here and with a healthy 2016 bike we feel it would have been possible. Next time...
Day 2 Saturday 19 August
Sand Prix at Mercer, Junior 15-16yo 125cc
19 August 2017
After the 2016 bike seized at Awakaponga the day before, we considered not doing the two days of Sand Prix. But we then concluded that it was all about track time and the experience. So we re-adjusted our goals and came here with the aim of not placing last.
We did some more work on the 2012 bike to make her as ready as possible for the sand track and we were on our way, after staying in Hamilton for the night (Thanks Sandra!!).
The track was wet from rain, but the sand was still very rideable and as long as the promise of more rain was wrong, it would be a good day of racing! (Only for Vinny's last race the sky opened and water came down in bucket loads creating some issues for the riders).
Vinny's 125cc class would have a split start with the 12-16 250cc class where the 250's would start first.
After the practice Vinny felt confident that he could do better than only avoiding the "wooden spoon" and we were looking forward to a day of awsum racing!
In Race 1 Vinny initially settled in to 2'nd to last, but as he got more comfortable he slowly started passing other riders (including a handful of the 250cc ones) and finished the race in 6'th. Carlin was the winner after a tight battle with Seton.
In Race 2 Vinny had a similar start. He then started to climb up and finished the race in 5'th after some battles with the other riders. Seton won this race.
Vinny had his worst start of the day in Race 3 and found him self in last. Then the heavens opened and all and everything got wet! While many riders struggled, Vinny handled the rain well and had his best finish of the day in 4'th. Seton won the race with an 30 second gap!
With a 6'th, 5'th and 4'th placing Vinny came 5'th overall meaning we had easily achieved our goal of not coming last! Seton won the class with Blake 2'nd and Carlin 3'rd.
Day 3 Sunday 20 August
Sand Prix Mercer, National 125cc
20 August 2017
This was the 3'rd day in a row of racing for Vinny. We had raced here the day before in the 15-16 125cc class. Sadly all racing had to be done on the backup 2012 bike as the main one seized in the first race in Awakaponga 2 days ago. And with the races being 18 minutes + a lap long, our only goal was for Vinny not to place last in this, his first, Senior Championship.
Yesterday there had only been rain in Vinnys last race. But already before we started today there were some showers and the track had puddles in places. As the day went on the rain came and went and there was also some windy moments. (We noticed a few gazebos flying around the place...)
In Race 1 Vinny's start was not the best. But a pile-up at the holeshot corner put him in 5'th for part of the first lap. He then slowly dropped down and fnshed in 11'th out of 16 riders. Riley won the race after a hard battle with Kurtis.
For Race 2 two riders were missing and Vinny found him self in 12'th after the start. He managed to climb two places and finished in 10'th. Ryan was the winner from Joshua.
In the 3rd race Vinny was in 7'th by the 3'rd lap, but had a crash in a corner and injured his r/h foot. He got up and managed to complete the race in 11'th giving him 10'th overall and the final prize money envelope! Riley won the race from Ryan with close to 20 seconds. This gave Riley the overall win by one point over Ryan with Kurtis in 3'rd.
We did better than we had hoped for when taking all in to account. But there is heaps to work on if we want Vinny to be a contender in the National 125 class. Will we get there? Time will tell.
Taupo Winter Series Round 4, Junior 15-16yo 125cc
30 July 2017
We arrived with Vinny sitting in 3'rd in the class and the intention was to build on that and make sure he had a good chance to end up on the podium at end of the season. But sadly that did not work out as planned.
At briefing all were warned about the still frozen ground and ice at places. Vinny liked the hard track and felt all was going well... that was before he crashed after a jump when his front wheel hit a spot of ice and injured his right wrist. As result he could not ride properly and only managed to circulate in all 3 races to pick up whatever points were available.
Vinny came last in each race and only managed to pick up 19 points from his 16'th, 15'th and 13'th placings. This puts Vinny in 8'th overall with 2 rounds to go...
Jacob won Race 1 with Seton taking Race 2 and 3.
We went to the HB Hospital when back home. Luckily there was no broken bones. But Vinny would need to rest his wrist. We decided that he would take time out from racing and be back for the BOP/Trident School MX and the SandPrix in Pukekohe the weekend 18 - 20 August.
Mighty Manawatu Junior MX Champs, 125cc under 17yo
23 July 2017
We had all in place. The racing bike had been tested and issues sorted. This was, at last, going to be the Mighty Manawatu where all went right and Vinny would get a good placing... (in 4 entries here we have had two blown bikes (in same event...), serious crashes, faulty clutch, broken down wheels and other issues). The rain had stopped and we allowed 3 hours drive so the closed Manawatu gorge would not make us late.
Vinny was entered in the under 17yo 125cc class. In practice the race bike would not run properly. It lacked power and would not rev out. So we settled for using the 2012 practice bike. This would seriously affect Vinnys chances. He would just have to do the best he could.
In Race 1 Jacob tangled his front wheel with Vinnys leg. Vinny was pulled to a stop and Jacob went down. Then there was a pile-up at the holeshot corner. Luckily Vinny missed this and soon settled in to 9'th. His placing moved up and down a place or two and finished in 10'th. The track was damp and heavy causing many riders to make mistakes. Riley won the race from Zac Jillings.
Before Race 2 we agreed that Vinny would use the event as a practice day and work on his cornering and not worry too much about his placings. With the track drying up his speed increased and he cut 2 seconds of his lap time. Vinny finished in 13'th with Riley again taking the win with Toby 2'nd.
Race 3 was very similar for Vinny and he battled with the same riders and again finished in 13'th. Riley completed his dominance with a 3'rd win. This time Zac Hetherington placed 2'nd.
Vinny placed 12'th overall with same points as 11'th but lost out based on the count-back rule. Riley won, Hunter 2'nd and Seth 3'rd.
Once again a Mighty Manawatu that did not go to plan. But at least we this time finished all 3 races...., Next year!!
South Waikato MCC Winter Series Round 3
2 July 2017
It was a chilly drive up from Hawke's Bay in the morning. The promise was for rain but none eventuated. The numbers were down in all classes and we realised we would be finished early (we left for home at 2.30pm)
In Vinny's 125/250 Junior All In class 18 riders lined up. His bike had not felt "right" in practice, but after a minor check and adjust we decided to give it a go.
In Race 1 Vinny came out well from the gates but then lost go. It was obvious that all was not right. He battled on but the power just was not there and he finished in 7'th.
For Race 2 we swapped to the practice bike after trying to sort the race bike, but with no luck. It was only after he had come out of the start gate I remembered that the bike had a worn clutch... Again Vinny battled on and encouragingly he finished in 5'th. He only had a small mishap when misjudging a rut and dropping the bike. But he lost no places.
For Race 3 the clutch had been swapped and now Vinny was able to fight for placings. He had a good race and came 3'rd.
Brody won all 3 races.
This puts Vinny in 3'rd in the standings after 3 rounds.